January 10, 2012

Naked Agile Helps Students Understand What Becoming Agile Really Means

Agile UmbrellaIn 2011, we released the Agile Essentials for Project Teams class for external pilot and it quickly sold out. The feedback we have received so far has been great and we are hard at work making the content even better for the 2012 classes. In this post and in the next two, I’ll write a total of three primers, each discussing a section from the class. Hopefully these primers will help you decide if the Agile Essentials for Projects Team class is right for you and encourage you to take the class. What is Agile anyway? This question is answered in the Naked Agile section of the class. Many people have made the mistake of confusing Agile with Scrum. It’s important to understand that Agile is not Scrum—Scrum is one Agile methodology among many. While Scrum is a good method, it is unfortunately often sold as the Agile pill to cure all ills. To truly be Agile, teams need a deeper understanding of the philosophy behind Agile methodologies such as Scrum. In the Naked Agile sections, students learn about Dr. Edwards Deming and his impact on Lean manufacturing through his Plan, Do, Study, Act model. After planting the seeds of Lean, we turn to the Agile Manifesto, where Agile theory and practice takes root. Students learn that Agile is not about any one method, but a set of values and principles. The class reinforces these values and principles through group exercises and discussions. We wrap up the Naked Agile section by busting some common Agile myths, such as “Agile methods lack quality” and “Agile methods mean cowboy coding.” [caption id="attachment_10662" align="aligncenter" width="403" caption="Internalizing the Agile Manifesto through in-class exercises"]Agile Values[/caption] Next month I’ll cover another section from the Agile Essentials for Project Teams class. Is there a section you‘d like me to provide more information about? Let me know and I’d be happy to oblige.